Hand Fracture

What is hand fracture?

Breaking of one of the several bones in the hand constitute a hand fracture. Metacarpals are the bones in the hand that connect the fingers and the wrist together. There are five metacarpals, one for each finger. Fingers contain bones named phalanges.Hand fractures are usually caused by sports or accident injuries. Direct blow in a sporting activity like boxing or a fall on your hand can cause hand fracture. Stress caused by overuse or repetitive use can also lead to hand fractures.Injury, fall, a direct contact in sports, crash injury etc. are some of the main causes of hand fractures. Hand fractures can occur either in the phalanges or in the meracarpals. Some of the common signs and symptoms of habd fractures include:

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Inability to move the finger
  • Deformity
  • Shortened finger
  • Depressed knuckle

How are hand fractures diagnosed?

A physical examination is the first step for diagnosis. The doctor may also conduct tests to examine the range of motions of the fingers. To diagnose the location and extent of the fracture, the doctor may suggest X-ray.

What are the types of hand fractures?

Hand fractures can be classified into four categories. The first category consists of the fractures in which no displacement of the fractured bone has taken place. The second category of fractures relates to the bones that have displaced after the fracture. The third category consists of fractures that have occurred in different places of the same bone. The fourth and the final category of hand fractures is that fractures in which the bone juts out of the skin consequent to the fracture.

What are the Symptoms and diagnosis of hand fracture?

Pain in the hand that increases when hand is moved or tried to hold some objects are the common symptoms of hand fractures. Numbness, tenderness and deformity of the hand are the other symptoms that accompany a fractured hand. Physical examinations and palpating your hand will be enough for a doctor to diagnose the existence of hand fractures. X-rays, CT scan, MRI scan with dye, bone scan etc will also be necessary for confirming the existence and extend of the hand fracture.

What are the non -Surgical Treatments for hand fracture?

Use of splint, cast, brace etc have been found to be extremely useful in holding the broken bones together in the original position and limiting the movement of the bones. This help to decrease the pain and prevent further damage to the bones. If one of your fingers is broken, the broken finger will be taped or strapped to the nearest finger. Tetanus injection will be given and pain killers and antibiotics will be given to reduce pain and improve the rate of healing. If the broken bone is jutting out, debridement will have to be done before attempting to fix the fractured bone. The surgeon will remove the damaged bone parts and tissues and clear the wound well with a view to prevent infection and to improve healing.

What are the Surgical Treatments for hand fracture?

In surgical procedure the surgeon will fix screws to the fractured bone which will be secured to some device outside the hand. This will help to the fractures bone to remain fixed in its required positions and help healing. In some cases wires, plates, nails etc are used to make the broken bones to remain in a fixed position which will all help the bones to grow and fill the gap, if any.

Proper resting is highly essential for faster healing. Applying icing and keeping your hand in an elevated position above your head can reduce the pain and swelling. Physical therapy can help to regain the lost motion of the fingers.

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